J Vector Borne Dis 2018 Oct-Dec;55(4):265-270
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan; Biological Control Research Unit, Center for Natural Science and Environmental Research, De La Salle University, Taft Ave Manila, Philippines.
Background & Objectives: Culex quinquefasciatus is a peridomestic mosquito known for its ability to transmit pathogenic diseases such as filariasis and Japanese encephalitis. The development and use of novel and innovative vector control measures such as the utilization of Wolbachia, along with the existing ones, are necessary to prevent the transmission of these diseases. Studies exploring the diversity of Wolbachia, particularly in Cx. quinquefasciatus are very limited in the Philippines. Thus, the aim of the study was to detect the presence, distribution, and phylogenetic relationship of Wolbachia infections in Cx. quinquefasciatus in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines.
Methods: Adult Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were collected using a commercially available light-trap from May 2014-January 2015. Based on their sampling grids (n = 51), the adult mosquito abdomens were pooled and subjected to Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) gene amplification assay. Five selected wsp-positive samples were then sequenced and further analyzed to infer their phylogenetic relationship with known Wolbachia strains.
Results: A total of 1090 adult Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were collected. Pooled abdomens (n = 53) were then sorted based on their sampling grids for subsequent screening of wsp gene. Wolbachia infection rate was 59% (31/53). These infections were located at 29 (57%) sampling grids, and were observed to be widely distributed in the study area. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the sample sequences were Wolbachia pipientis isolated from known hosts, Cx. pipiens and Cx. quinquefasciatus belonging to supergroup B clade.
Interpretation & Conclusion: The study was able to demonstrate the prevalence and distribution of Wolbachia in Cx. quinquefasciatus in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines. The findings of this study are geared towards proposing a vector control program that utilizes the potential of Wolbachia as a biological control agent in preventing the transmission of Culex-borne diseases.